Many of the factors that increase your risk of having a heart attack can be controlled by lifestyle changes. From weight to cholesterol readings to eating habits, many things impact heart attack risk.
Urgent: Discover your risk for heart disease, take the test now!
Several sites maintain tests that you can take that assess your habits and determine your risk of having a heart attack, taking into account behaviors like smoking, diet, exercise, and family history.
- Mayo Clinic – This test considers age, weight, heart procedures you’ve had, family history of heart disease, eating habits, smoking history and other information. The test will give you a percentage risk factor of having heart disease, and offers suggestions to lower that risk.
- The American Heart Association – Although you can answer the questions on this test without them, it is best if you know your blood pressure, cholesterol (lipid) levels (total, LDL, HDL and triglycerides) and blood sugar levels. The average levels of a person your age will be used if you can’t input your own data.
- National Institutes of Health – This simple test also requires that you know your personal levels for cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. It, as well as others online, is based on the Framingham Heart Study. In 1948, with little understanding of what caused heart disease, researchers began an intensive study to determine common risk factors, according to a website about the study. Over the years, the study has been updated and has entered different phases of study, but those initial results are still considered valid today to determine the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Many of the assessment tests focus on the factors that can be controlled. According to information on the National Institutes of Health website, the main cardiovascular heart disease risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
“Although more than 200 risk factors for CHD have now been identified, the single most powerful predictor of CHD risk is abnormal lipid values. All of these risk factors are multiplicative, acting to exaggerate the damage caused by each risk factor alone,” the NIH study said
This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.
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